If a child suffers from heart disease, care and regular medical control are among the most important aspects of the treatment and recovery. At our clinic cardiologists with decades of wide experience cure congenital or acquired heart defects in newborns, infants and children. In order to have the most exact diagnosis the latest ultrasonic equipment (footnote no.1.) is available with a special probe suitable for the anatomical and functional cardiac screening.
Congenital heart diseases
Statistical frequency of the incidence of congenital heart diseases in newborns, infants and children is approximately 0.8-1 % , so we have to face a heart development disorder in a number of one child out of a hundred.
Clinical appearance and course of congenital heart development disorders (congenital vitium) are diversified depending on the type of the disease. Most of the disorders are moderate, which in the first months or years of the disease either heal spontaneously or could be recuperated by medication. However there may be conditions with serious and frightful symptoms which may require an immediate cardiac surgery or heart catheterization during the period of the newborn baby’s first days.
Acquired heart defects
In childhood, besides the mentioned congenital heart diseases above acquired heart defects may also develop, for example inflammatory diseases which may affect the pericardium, endocardium and the cardiac muscle. In this age other acquired heart disorders (for example cardiomyopathy) or cardiac arrhythmia may also be diagnosed.
In addition, nowadays more and more children suffer from hypertension owing to obesity and overweight.
In certain disorders of particular systems of the organism, like autoimmune diseases (rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus) or Kawasaki disease, the cardiac and circulatory system may also be affected. Besides the inflammation of the cardiac muscle and the pericardium irreversible deviations in the coronary arteries may also develop. In such cases early diagnosis is very important. Medication or other treatments (catheterization or surgery) started in due time may improve life expectancy, moreover it could be a lifesaving intervention.
To prevent the problems mentioned above screening and regular examinations are very important especially for children pursuing sport activities (footnote no.1.).
- in newborns: checking the heart rate and taking blood pressure on the upper and lower limbs as well
- in the kindergarten
- before starting school
- in cases of intensive sporting activities
- in case of development of any symptoms of a possible heart disease
if there is an incidence of a diagnosed heart disease or cardiac arrhythmia in the family
When do we have to worry about a suspicion of a heart disease affecting our child?
- if the baby has no appetite or we face feeding problems namely during feeding the baby becomes tired, weight gain is stopped and body weight decreases
- cyanosis, which is the blue-gray colorization of nails, lips and the tongue, may be the symptom of a serious heart disease
- accelerated inspiration, shortness of breath, difficult breathing, asphyxia (choking)
- heart rate is too high, slow or chaotic
- fainting or loss of consciousness
- if our child bears less than before namely becomes tired more rapidly
- if there is a big difference between the heart rates and blood pressure taken on the upper and lower limbs, then it may be the symptom of a serious narrowing of the caliber of an artery
- chest pain especially during stress conditions
- typical symptoms of hypertension disorders are headache, dizziness, nausea, nasal bleeding, visual disturbances
- appearance of edema on the shin, body or face
Without typical giveaways…
Some of the heart diaseases do not produce symptoms, remain undiscovered for a long time and suspicion of the disorder may emerge only after routine examinations, kindergarten or school screenings or examination by the sports medicine doctor. Late diagnosis and delayed treatment may worsen the chances for recovery.
Who are vulnerable to heart diseases?
- premature infants with low weight
- those who have family members with cardiac disorders
- obese, overweight children
those who have certain genetic deviations like Down, Di-George, Turner, Williams, Marfan and Noonan syndromes